There was no way that CP could pass this anniversary without making comment on the life of Senator Edward Kennedy. For me he will always remain the epitome of what leadership not only looks like, but what it can accomplish when in action. For all the political faces on both sides of the aisle that I have met and shaken hands with over the years, from President Bush (41) to Senator Dole, from Jesse Jackson to Bill Clinton, I was never able to get the chance to personally meet the man I most respected, Senator Kennedy. He was the one that sparked the fireworks in my soul when I was young about what active involvement in politics can mean, and what can be achieved with all-out determination.
Ted Kennedy’s death one year ago meant that the dream of health care would be fought without his wisdom and guidance, and the frothy emotion of immigration would not have his skill of bringing various sides together. His passing left a real hole in the first years of President Obama’s administration.
There are many things to recall about Ted Kennedy, and various ways to remember him. What I thought about this afternoon as I mowed the lawn and looked out at Lake Monona was his farewell message to all of us in his book “True Compass”. If you do your best, and keep a true compass, you will make it to your goal.
Throughout my time of reading “True Compass” I had one thought that kept coming back to me over and over. What a time it would have been to be sailing with Ted Kennedy, and have him start telling the stories of his life and experiences instead of reading them in his book. The glint in his eyes, and his wide smile as he recaptured his memories while the waves and sails carried the Kennedy clan on the Mya over space and time would have been the grandest of things I could ever image. If I had been onboard for such a sail, and knowing my inquisitiveness, I would have peppered Teddy with questions at every pause he would have taken in his story-telling. After all, when it comes to politicians, Ted Kennedy was, and remains, a hero.